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Why our Baseball Training?

The Concept of Motor Learning…

The “Bernstein Principles”

 Nikolai Bernstein was a Russian neurophysiologist in charge of training for all the Soviet Olympic athletes from 1950-1980.  He was one of the founding fathers of a scientific discipline now known as “Motor Learning”.

Mr. Bernstein contributed two significant axioms to the field of motor learning, both of which we apply daily:

Bernstein Principle #1:

“The body will organize itself in accordance with the overall goal of the activity.”

The human body is smart but we don’t learn motor skills (like pitching or hitting) from verbal cues like “Get your elbow up,” or “Your arm is dragging.”

If given the overall GOAL and OBJECTIVE feedback, most athletes will figure out the most efficient and effective way to perform the task. They learn through feel and repetition, not through words.  We believe coaches and teachers need to talk (or shout) less.

At Spectrum Sports Academy, we try to provide only as much verbal and cognitive input as necessary. We allow our drills to do the teaching.  Our athletes learn through guided discovery and kinesthetic feel.

Bernstein Principle #2:

“Mechanical inefficiencies do not happen in a vacuum, they require two factors: time and tension.”

“Mechanical inefficiencies” are improper or poorly timed muscle firings that result in lousy pitches and poor hitting. 
Moving slowly allows time and space for mechanical inefficiencies to enter into the pitcher or hitter’s movement pattern.

Tension might exist in the form of physical constraints (for example tight hamstrings, or poor shoulder mobility), or psychological stressors that cause the athlete to move in an inefficient manner.

Try riding a bicycle very slowly.  Mechanical inefficiencies will make it very difficult
speed up without being somewhat out of control.  However once a comfortable speed is achieved these inefficiencies tend to iron themselves out, the movement becomes smooth and uninhibited, and performance improves.

We ask our athletes to try to move as fast as possible and to remain tension free. Every athlete will find his own optimum tempo. We just ask that it be faster rather than slower and smooth.

The Bernstein Principle is one of the things that make us different from most other traditional baseball instructors or coaches. The traditional coaching/teaching style is to interject a verbal command after every pitch, swing or play.

We have all seen it.  A pitcher throws a pitch or hitter make a swing and if the result is not good, the coach tells him what he did wrong. This process is then repeated over and over in both practice and game situations.  This non-productive process usually continues until the player gets totally frustrated and confused, but no different.  In our experience, this approach is highly ineffective.

If you’re ready to change the way you train… If you’ve had it with the same old approach… If you’re ready to pursue a new, cutting edge path, then we are ready for you!

Come out to Spectrum Spectrum Sports Academy and let’s get started.

Call us at (540) 561-0921, or email and start training with us.